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Williams left frustrated by Sprint format 'rewarding top four teams'

Alex Albon narrowly missed out on scoring points in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sprint race after finishing ninth, leaving both driver and team frustrated over the points system used in the format.

Alex Albon and Williams have expressed their frustration at the Sprint format "rewarding the top four teams" after narrowly missing out on points in the Azerbaijan event. After starting from P7 on the grid, Albon eventually finished the 17-lap race in P9. In a full-length Grand Prix, this would have resulted in points, but only the top eight finishers receive points in a Sprint race. The top eight positions in Baku were filled by Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin, leaving Albon disappointed over the divide between these teams and the rest of the field.

Albon frustrated by Sprint result

"I'm on the fence with the Sprint race if I'm honest; it's rewarding the top four teams and they're already a step ahead of everyone else," Albon said after the race. "It was a great race for us, but we just don't have the pace compared to them, so unfortunately no reward for today and we'll shift our focus to tomorrow. "It's frustrating to be sitting out of the points in the Sprint when P9 in a normal race would mean points and be an excellent result for us. "We were the best of the rest today, so we can take some happiness from that, and know it’s now our job to get closer to the top four."

Williams look to score points on Sunday

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance at Williams, echoed Albon's comments but also sounded a positive note over the team's prospects in Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix. "With points in the Sprint race only awarded to the top 8 finishers, it was always going to be difficult to challenge the four fastest teams," Robson explained. "Alex competed hard, pushed the car hard but was unable to stay ahead of the Aston Martins. "Scoring no points on a day where we were constantly competing near the front is very frustrating, but we are pleased with the pace of FW45, especially as we brought only minor updates this weekend. "We are now looking forward to the Grand Prix and another chance to score some points." Logan Sargeant was unable to compete in the Sprint after a crash in the Sprint Shootout, with the team unable to repair the damage in time. With qualifying for Sunday's race having taken place on Friday, Albon will line up in P13 while Sargeant starts from P15.

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